Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Electrical activity of the brain, eye movements, arterial pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate and depth have been recorded continuously during a night of sleep not induced by drugs in 22 healthy subjects, two hypertensive patients, and one anephric man who was awaiting renal transplantation. Sleep was associated with reduction in arterial pressure averaging 50 mm Hg systolic and 30 mm Hg diastolic. Dreams, although occasionally associated with marked elevation of blood pressure, were usually accompanied by no change or a slight fall in pressure. The dramatic paroxysmal electroencephalographic alterations termed K complexes, occurring spontaneously or after a noise in sleep of moderate depth, were followed within two or three heart beats by abrupt elevation in arterial pressure, as much as 35 mm Hg, lasting 10 to 20 seconds. Blockade with propranolol of β-adrenergic receptors, which mediate cardio-excitatory effects of sympathetic nerve discharge, did not modify the hypertension following K complexes. Cerebral activity, transmitted by sympathetic peripheral vasoconstrictor pathways, is an important regulator of blood pressure during sleep in man.
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VCU University Archives